Happy Days BlogHer 2017 Orlando is Here Again

I am so incredibly excited about #BlogHer2017 this year!! Last year I was like a newborn… it was bright, cold, I was confused, and totally out of my comfort zone. I attempted to be a sponge and absorb as much information as possible… which of course was impossible. I was so star struck by so many incredible women (and some men) that it was really overwhelming. If you don’t know about this event… BlogHer is  a part of sheknows media, and is a blogging media outlet meant to help women inspire women. I love this mission and everything these women have done to empower each other.  For me it’s a serious dream – a room full of intelligent women all there to help each other!! This year I plan on reflecting on what I learned from last year and making a new plan of success for this event!!

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{Kraft Mac n Cheese Booth : PhotoCred Lauren James}

ReflectionsLast year  was in LA. I had never been to LA so I definitely think that was somewhat of a distraction. I also had no idea about the sheer size of the event – it was literally thousands of women who were in this event all looking for different tools to improve upon their companies, products, and networks. Here are some of the major things that I learned.

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{First Day of BlogHer : PhotoCred to Lauren James}

  • Sessions – These are basically classes that are about different topics meant to give you tools to improve various issues within your company. They are explained by experts who have a vast knowledge of this topic. Some of these sessions were very informative and gave me some great tools for success. Some of these sessions were very insightful for me personally. But there were also several sessions that were repetitive and not what I was expecting – so they were in-turn not beneficial – at least to me.
  • Networking – I knew that I needed to have an “elevator pitch” and be ready to hand out business cards. What I didn’t realize was how instrumental this was to our future of the Olive Shoe. This not only gives us opportunity to learn from others, but also an opportunity for more platforms and products to be sold. It was made very clear to me how little I knew when trying to network with others.
  • Anxiety – I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life. I know my triggers and this conference definitely was one of those triggers! I do not do well with crowds – especially in new environments. However I did a pretty good job of keeping my cool until the transportation home. Before then I stayed to the outsides, took breaks when I needed, and listened to my body. I am very glad that I didn’t let me anxiety ruin this event.

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{Photo Booth at the Expo : PhotoCred Lauren James}

Overall the conference was fantastic! Lauren and I learned so much and it has really helped streamline our blog and focus for our future with The Olive Shoe.

Plans for this year – This year I am so excited that this is going to be a sister-sister occasion. I am also excited that it isn’t across the country and that it is in my home state. There is nothing like the familiarity of home. Lastly I am so incredibly excited about some of the speakers who are going to be there – some of which I have followed their whole public career!! Some of these women include Carla Hall (AHHH), Margaret Cho (What?!) and Cecile Richards (Swoon)!! There will be so many other great speakers and experiences I really just can’t wait to begin!

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{Picture of Me totally Star-Struck after running into an amazing speaker on the elevator : PhotoCred Lauren James}

  • Sessions – This year the sessions definitely have a different vibe. Last year there were lots of sessions focusing on social issues, publishing, social media, and media tools. This year there is more of a focus on health and wellness in addition to the other topics. I am very excited about these new ones since I do write some food articles and others that have to do with children’s wellness. I also hope to gain some more tools to help with promoting and drawing in more readers as well.
  • Networking – This year I definitely have a better idea of what I want to say in order to network and a better plan on who I need to talk to in order to get some good networking together. I would love to do some interviews of other Moms and Chefs in order to add to some of our topics. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel – and it gives others another outlet to get their information out there as well.
  • Anxiety – As far as anxiety I think the fear of the unknown will definitely be less because I have gone to one of these conferences before. I also think I will do a better job of scheduling the most important sessions to go to and not drain myself unnecessarily. Hopefully since I am so close to home and traveling a fraction of the distance that will give me a lot of comfort!

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{Lauren and I in L.A. before BlogHer : PhotoCred Lauren James}

I am so thankful for different events brought by BlogHer and sheknowsmedia that really allow women to learn and network together in order to promote female-run businesses. It is a fantastic outlet for so many different tools – it would be unwise not to go and take advantage of all the opportunities that these ladies give us. I am thankful for this event and these women to give Lauren and I better insight on how to improve upon The Olive Shoe. I look forward to reporting back what we have learned this year!!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

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Party Perfect Children’s Finger Food

I love entertaining my children’s friends with fun new activities. They can be sensory activities, art projects, games etc… But one thing is always consistent for any playdate or activities involving children – FOOD! Children can be picky, eat tons or nothing at all, and have dietary restrictions. Growing up, my Mom always had great options of snacks, lunches, or party foods. Not always the most creative, but there were definitely some that were pretty entertaining. Unlike my Mother, I have made the mistake many times about forgetting to have enough options on hand or even having some for my own children. Here is a great list of some fun finger foods that your child is sure to enjoy and aren’t too intricate to make. This way, you don’t have to be like me and be scrambling for more options for your children!

Breakfast – Breakfast for us gets dull quickly. I often struggle to find some variety that isn’t just 100% sugar related. My children can also be really picky with eggs and yogurt. Here are some great options that you can add to your rotation!

I love this breakfast option: its cute, healthy and delicious!

My husband makes these regularly and they are so quick and delicious! It’s a family favorite:

Here is a great classic twist on a traditional southern breakfast:

Lunch – For whatever reason I find lunch to be the most difficult attitude wise. My children are so incredibly tired and that often is their pickiest meal. Because of this, I have chosen to make this meal the battle I will not fight – mostly because when they get to school full-time it will be the meal I can police the least. I often fill their lunches with their favorite foods – but try to keep some protein and healthy snacks in there as well. Here are some other great lunch ideas what will allow you to add some more variety to your children’s lunches.

Here is a great healthy lunch (or dinner or snack) option that the kids will love:

Love this option for mini quesadillas:

Cheesy Wonton Quesadillas Recipe – Tablespoon.com

Cheesy Wonton Quesadillas
I make these for my girls all the time! It’s amazing how a change of shape can make this classic lunch taste better!

I think these would be a great lunch item and what’s great is the hidden veggies:

This is another great easy lunch or dinner item that the kids can make on their own!

Snack – I typically use snack time to just keep my kids appeased until dinner. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy. Here are some great options for your children to have during snack time!

I love that this snack is healthy and delicious!

What can I say? I am a sucker for charcuterie!!

Here is a great snack that reminisces ice cream without all the mess:

Here is a great way to present the everyday snack:

This low carb snack is great for adults and children alike:

Dinner – Dinner time is a family affair in my home. We have dinner together most every night! My children also do not get other options for dinner – they eat what my husband and I eat… period! However, there are definitely times where that is not an option – babysitters, dinner on the go, expensive elements, etc… here are some great kid friendly dinner options that adults will enjoy as well!

This is a great option for dinner for the kiddos:

Here’s a great twist on pizza for the kids and they could make themselves!

These mashed potatoes are so cute and will really cut down on the potential messes:

Why not an updated nugget for dinner?

This would be a great lunch or dinner:

Other Helpful Links – Here are some great lists for other food ideas for the children. I mean you can never have enough options for these little fickle humans right?

This is a great list of wraps for everyone to enjoy:

This is a cute and EASY list of party food for the kids:

Here is a great list of some healthy options for your kids to enjoy:

These are a great take on some mini-pie like finger foods:

I love this idea for a kid’s party:

Well if nothing on this list seems like something for you… then check out this ultimate guide for children and toddlers:

I hope this list gives you some new and improved options for you to entertain your children and your children’s guests for any upcoming meals. I know how difficult dinner and meal prep can be – and often I find the more options I have to add to the rotation, the better!! I hope that if you do try one of these recipes that you share your successes and updates so we can share amongst our Olive Shoe community.

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Mothers Take a Day | Embrace the Village

I have been trying to decide what to write about this Mother’s Day. This is officially my fourth Mother’s Day since my eldest child was born – there are so many topics I could write about… the love, resentment, lifestyle change, influences, etc… In the past I reflected on the year – having Irish twins and the identity crisis. This year I decided to write about the village that has literally kept my sanity during these last few years of motherhood.

The proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is one that seems to trace its origins to Africa and potentially to the Igbo or Yoruba (both Nigerian tribes). I have found it to be so true in many examples in my life. In my own childhood we had a whole neighborhood of families who looked out for each other’s children. Every home had an open door which allowed us children to always be fed, looked after, and loved. When I studied abroad in Ghana our tour guide Armstrong often discussed the importance to him of family, which was comprised of his village just outside of Kumasi; he attributed his success as a man and college student at the University of Ghana to their guidance. I was reminded yet again recently of how important the village is at a charity fishing tournament called Price’s Point. This event is for a dear friend of mine’s brother who was taken too soon in a tragic accident. Every year since his passing, family and friends get together to raise money in his name. This was my first year and I was seriously moved at the dedication, attendance, and support that comes together in remembrance of Price Thornal.  Although I was resistant to having a village due to pride and stubbornness, I really would not able to be as good of a mother without their support.

Creating my village – When I first became a parent – like most first-time parents – I was extremely paranoid. I already have some social anxiety, so of course it was exacerbated once I had children. I was concerned that we wouldn’t bond, my child would get sick, or someone would take my child. What I didn’t know was that no matter what your plan for motherhood is… it will always change and probably won’t be how you envisioned! After I had Vivian we struggled to breastfeed, she was severely underweight, she never slept (and STILL doesn’t sleep), and worst of all I probably had PPD without realizing it. I wanted to do it all on my own – as has always been my life mantra! I am an INDEPENDENT WOMAN after all!! HA! I didn’t realize that having a village didn’t make me less independent; it made me an EMPOWERED WOMAN! When I became pregnant with my second child so quickly thereafter, I knew I needed to change my ways and begin to build my village.

The Village in SC – I felt like building a village in SC would be so easy. I had lived there for almost a decade and had family nearby. But alas it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. Friends disappeared and we were in such a different place that many of our previous support group began to become acquaintances. The ONLY easy part was our family. Thankfully my sister-in-law lived one town over, my Mother lived two hours away, and my Mother in-law visited as often as she could since she lived 4 hours away. All of these women often gave up work and other commitments to come help my family. I will always be so grateful for their sacrifice. BUT my family couldn’t always be there for me when I just needed to get out of the house, or have a social life, or be with someone who was in the same place of life as me. Thankfully some people came to my life who were really more helpful then they probably know!

First were Sarah and Lyndsay. Sarah and I had been in the same book club but it had been a while since we had hung out. When she found out I was struggling, she was gracious enough to offer weekly playdates which I cherished!! It was so nice having somewhere to go weekly – where I would NEVER be judged, and always be accepted! I still miss seeing Sarah, her sons, and husband so often. Lyndsay was a friend of a friend and I didn’t realize how many things we would have in common!! Our playdates were fantastic because our kids played so well and it was a much needed relief for both of our Mommy lives! Now living farther away from these women, there are many times where I so miss our playdates and friendship!

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{Picture Taken by Lauren Carlisle of Lyndsay, Sarah, and Lauren’s children}

Then one of the most amazing things happened – one of my best college friends moved back to town! Eva is seriously my sister FOREVER! We have been co-workers and close through marriages, divorce, employment changes, pregnancies and loss. No matter the distance, we have always supported each other. When she moved to town I felt an immense relief!! It was so nice being with someone who was like-minded and knew my thoughts without me speaking any words. Although we are apart now once again we are still such a massive support system for each other!

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{Picture by Eva Frye of Lauren, Eva, and her daughter}

Then I met a new friend who turned out to become one of my most dear friends, Candace. She lived down the street from me and little did I know she also had Irish Twin girls as well. We had the same schedules and our girls played so well together! It was great just to have to look down the street for a quick playdate. I hate that we met so close to when we moved from SC but honestly having our four girls run the small town of Liberty would have be a little scary! HAHAHA!

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{Picture Taken by Candace Fruster of Lauren and Candace’s children}

*Note: There are so many more people who were so helpful and supportive – like the people of Pickens High School, my trainer and boss at Soby’s, Rick, my BESTIE Michael, and the list goes on – but I really wanted to focus on some special Moms (sorry boys).

Beginning Again – When our family moved to Florida it was such a shock that I didn’t really have time to fret over losing my village until the final days. Once my husband found out about his new position, we sold our house and moved in two short months. Luckily, I quickly found the perfect preschool who could take my girls so I could create a home. But to my surprise, this preschool has given me so much more. Temple Israel Preschool has given our family a home base, friendship and more importantly a village. It started when my husband interviewed one of the teachers, Miss Merritt’s, husband. The men quickly developed a true bromance and Merritt and I have also become very close. Their family has been there for us when we moved, needed friendship, and had some hard times here as well. I was so glad to see and meet some of her village when I went to Price’s Point this year! I am so thankful for the people Merritt introduced me too – I could never repay what she has given my family.

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{Picture taken by Emily Brown of the Newell and Carlisle children}

Another teacher I have become close with always amazes me with her patience and ability to work with children. Miss Becca is my oldest’s primary teacher and every child just adores her. When you go into the school, she is always followed by a gaggle of children vying for her attention. I have learned so much from her about how to deal with children. I am also thankful to find a new running partner since moving to our house and out of the apartment (more on that later).

Miss Hayley is another teacher I have learned so much from – we have similar passions and its great bouncing ideas off of each other. She has so much more gardening and animal experience then I do, it’s great to be able to share our experiences and successes as well! Not to mention we have similar music tastes – which means we must get off our lazy butts and see a show some day!! There are so many more women to be thankful for at TIP it would take me days to write all the fantastic amazing things these women have done for my family – financially, care for my children, support etc… I am so thankful to be a part of their school family!

Now I must not forget the women who first welcomed me to Tallahassee. They helped me burn off stress, get in better shape, and allowed me to have adult conversations again. The Buck Lake area Moms Run This Town running group allowed me to run with them without any awkward introductions. We just ran, supported each other, and talked about life. They really helped the transition move so quickly after moving from SC. I am sad that I no longer live as close to them – but it is so nice to be able to see and chat with them as a continuation of our friendship.

Reflecting on the villages I have experienced and built as well, I have learned too many invaluable lessons. You never truly have to be alone. Help is there if you ask. Your children will be cared for always within the village. Your DESERVE a break once in a while. So Mama’s don’t be like me and try to do it all alone. You really can’t! You need your support system to be the best mother and woman that you can be. If it wasn’t for my village, I would never have been able to overcome the feelings of resentment, loss of self, and depression that I have dealt with over the years. So Mama learn from me – take a day when you need it – depend on your village. Have a relaxing Mother’s Day!!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

The Creative Home | Music to My Eyes | The Edwards

I met Caroline through my involvement in the Junior League of Anderson County and through mutual friends at some point over the last couple of years. In December, I went to a cottage meeting at her house (a Junior League meeting in a house setting, not the typical public meeting place) ….and immediately told her I wanted to add her to my list for the creative home tour…

Caroline and Wes are welcoming, wonderful parents of two adorable boys – Wesley (2 1/2) and Tommy (almost 1), active in the community and just genuinely nice, real, good-hearted people – and bonus that they are a blast to hang out with, too!

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I was immediately drawn to their home partly because of the use of color, the musical influence, and the pops of mid-century modern that sing to you and surprise you around every corner. All themes that are near and dear to my heart. It honestly wasn’t until I went to photograph their home that I noticed so many more of the details…so much personality thoughtfully and wonderfully packaged into this John Holman house made into the Edwards home, nestled into the heart of one of Anderson’s older residential neighborhoods. I probably asked Caroline a million questions as we walked around the house snapping photographs and chatting.

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Like old friends – as I’d imagine Caroline makes everyone feel whether you’re new friends or from years past – we arrived in the driveway at the same time and walked in through the garage, so we’ll start the tour from that direction.

Me: When was the house built?

Caroline: 1968

How long have you lived here?

Caroline: 4 years this past March

Me: Do you have a favorite piece of furniture?

Caroline: (Immediately, without hesitation) Oh, the coffee table in the living room – AND the only thing we have bought at full price, we’re bargain hunters, you kno. It was our Christmas present to ourselves when we were engaged and immediately went into storage, but we had to have it.

Me: What about a favorite room?

Caroline: Probably the family room – it’s just our cozy place where we play with the babes and hang out as a family.

Me: How would you describe your style?

Caroline: The word eclectic is way overused. I like a little fancy. I like old. I like surprises.

Me: I love that you threw the word “surprises” in there.

Caroline: I LOVE finding things at yard sales or around town or just out and think THIS. IS. PERFECT. I can’t wait to take it home and give it new life.

Me: Love that. Just love that.

From the garage, you enter into the breakfast area, visible from the kitchen and perfect for family meals:

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Oh, by the way, meet Mac (short for McFly – yes, as in Marty)…we became fast friends, and he photo bombed a lot of pictures. I decided not to edit him out, because, well, I like real life.

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I love the peek through shelving in their kitchen and the way color flows throughout their home.

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The Edwards’ dining room is right off the kitchen, which flows easily into the living room. We’ll come back to the family room/den that you got a peek of from the breakfast area.

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(Above) This is probably one of my favorite shots from their house. The combination is just dreamy…like I said, music to my eyes.

They have carried the same color scheme into the living room, playing up the tangerine and peach combined with the seafoam and muted aqua. I love the use of monochromatic paint colors on the walls and trim in these two rooms.

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The living room opens up to the entry, and I’m super jealous of her double front door.

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When I leaned in to take a close up of her little gathering of frames I asked, “Is this a Christmas card?”

Caroline went on to tell me, “My sister-in-law’s Dad told her to keep one thing from Christmas out all year so when you see it, you get that little spark of excitement for the Christmas season.”

I love that about doing these home tours, part of the fun is getting the stories behind what people choose to put in their homes. It’s the difference between what makes a house into a home.

I told her, “I think this is my favorite item in your house.”

Peeking back around the corner before we head down the hallway, is the Edwards’ family room.

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The musical influence in their home is clear, especially in this room and the next. Wes, of family owned music store Draisen-Edwards (also agent at Wes Edwards Nationwide in case any of you are in need of such thing), has made instruments and musical influence part of the decor in the Edwards home. Which, coming from a musically inclined family who does the same, I found very endearing and again, music to my eyes.

First stop down the hall is Wes’ music room, an eclectic (sometimes the word is just the right one to use) mix of instruments and art, including a Chicken Man palm tree.

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Just down the hall is the powder room, a fun space that I failed to photograph fully, but you can get an idea:

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…and across the hall is the nursery, peaceful and light, with a little bit of a farm animal thing going on (but carefully selected, artful farm animals). I am smitten with the lamb that is at the core of a future gallery wall, along with the precious boys. And please notice the GORGEOUS changing table.

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Further down the hall we find the master, and I have to say, “my favorite item” was definitely a toss up between the Christmas card in the entry and the framed piece of paper over Caroline’s nightstand.

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Let’s take a closer look. See that sweet little “Caroline and Wes” with the doodled bird at the end? Wes drew it, and it became their Save-the-Date. See what I mean? The details!

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This room is also home to their favorite (and hardest) DIY project yet, the master bath. Check out this beautiful bathroom.

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Thanks so much for joining this tour, and stay tuned next month! I still owe you February’s before’s of the Tally Carlisle’s new abode, too!

Have a great weekend!

Previous Creative Home Tours:

If you have or know of a creative space with interesting color, textures, and style that you’d like to see featured, I’d love to come take a look and even snap a few photos – please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com and let’s have a chat!

In an ode to one of my previously mentioned old favorites…There’s no place like home!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

Flower Child | Getting Crafty with Flowers

I have always had a fascination with flowers. I spent hours as a child picking flowers, drying flowers, making potpourri, etc… My father also grew roses so he could cut them for me and my mother. He also gives us flowers for special occasions. As an adult, I have started to grow my own flowers so I can make my own vases and dried flowers. My children also love everything flowers – living or created on paper. I love sharing this with my children! Here are some great crafts to help you and your children get into the love of flowers as well.

Making Flowers – Flower making is a common activity for children – but several of these activities put a new spin on things. One of the reasons why I love flower activities is because they make great gifts! Why not make gift giving fun, beautiful, and educational?

This craft is great because it doesn’t matter the age and can be completed numerous times with minimal effort:

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Here is a great easy way to make flowers with stamps:

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I love this craft because it would make a fantastic gift as well:

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Here is another creative way to make flowers:

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Here is another great way to make flowers with stamps:

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I love this stamping activity using actual flowers:

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This is my favorite stamping activity because it is easy and beautiful:

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I love these flower windows!

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Education and Flowers – One of the best things about flowers is that they make a great educational tool. There are so many things to discuss including the parts of a flower, how it grows, and regrowth. Here are some fantastic activities that will show your kids the glory of a flower’s growth.

I love how this activity shows the parts of a flower and uses vegetables for demonstration:

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Here is a great activity that can be done over and over while discussing parts of the flower:

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This is a great way to educate children on types of flowers:

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This is a great experiment, especially when discussing pollution:

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This is a great counting activity that involves the creation of flowers as well:

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Sensory Flowers – Flowers also make a fantastic sensory activity!! Whether they are with fake or real flowers they are a great way to add another level of play with children. I am sure both you and your children will enjoy these super fun activities.                                                                        

This is a great sensory activity with items that don’t cost a lot and can be found around the house:

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This is another great sensory activity that also creates flowers as well:

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This is a super fun sensory bottle using flowers:

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This is a great hands-on activity also showing the parts of a flower:

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Also if you’re interested in adding another level to your flower crafts you could always read one of these great children’s books about flowers:

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Looking for some of these crafts I had tried with my own children and others that I wanted to create with my children was so fun and really made me appreciate all those flower crafts I did growing up. So if you use these crafts because its springtime or as a gift – especially with Mother’s Day coming up – they are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. I hope you enjoy some of these projects and please feel free to send us pictures of the results – we would love the see the finished product!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Creating Your Secret Garden | Part 2: Frost Doesn’t Have to Be a Foe

One of the toughest decisions to make when creating your garden is when to plant your crops. Choosing which plants to plant can be a daunting task – I always struggle with this. Whether it’s because I want to plant too much, worried about space, or timing of plants. The next several posts will be about when to plant, what plant for each season, and some helpful hints for success as well. Of course, planting is subjective due to weather, environment, and time of year – but I hope this article, and future ones, will give you some helpful hints and help guide your planting experience. This article will specifically be focused on the early spring and frost resistant crops. Frost can be a major danger to a lot of plants. Not only can it cause damage to foliage, but it can also kill some of your plants altogether.  It is important to make sure you plant frost resistant or cold hardy plants during these early days to ensure success in your garden.

Flowers – Bulbs and Annuals

Bulbs are essentially the resting stage of a plant. When the bulb reaches the right temperature, saturation and nutrition, then it grows into a wonderful plant. There are several cold hardy flowers that grow from bulbs including daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises and crocuses. These bulbs are typically planted in the fall and bloom in late winter early spring. Here you will find some more information on great bulbs for your garden.

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Annuals are plants that need to be replanted every year. These are plants you can typically buy in seed form or once they have sprouted and had their first blooms. Some of these cold hardy annuals include pansies/violas, calendulas, snapdragons, sweet peas and poppies. Personally, in South Carolina, I have not had a whole lot of success with poppies (even though they show magnificently at Brookgreen Gardens), but I have had a lot of success with pansies in the past that last through the fall! Here you will find a great list of cool-hardy annuals with some information on best time for germination as well.

Make it Green – Shrubs and More

Shrubs are great for a variety of reasons. They can add privacy, color, and shape to any garden. There are many different types of shrubs including ones that are evergreen, flower, and produce fruit. Some of the ones that we grow that are frost resistant are hollies, azaleas, and boxwoods. Each have their own purpose on our property. Yes, flowers can be fragile and difficult to grow while shrubs tend to be overall more hardy. Don’t be afraid to use shrubs in a variety of colors, flowers, and fruit bearing to add color to your garden during these cooler months. Here is a link to some of the cool hardy shrubs that can bring some color to your garden.

Trees

Trees may not be something you think of as having trouble with frost. As far as the cold, killing a tree in its older years of life is not likely. There are several trees that bloom and leaf during the cooler months or even year-round that can help bring color to your garden. Evergreens are easy because they are cool hardy and stay green year-round. One of my favorites is the magnolia. Not only is it an evergreen, but I love the large blooms of early summer! Some other early leafing or blooming trees are dogwoods, cherry trees, and crabapples. Here is a link so some of the other early flowering spring trees.

Crops – Can you really grow some cold hardy crops?

Yes! There are definitely plants that are resistant to cold temperatures and even frost. Cold temperatures can not only kill plants, but can also burn the foliage of some crops as well. Some of the crops that we have done well with during the spring months are sugar snaps, cabbage, spinach, and even strawberries. Listed below are some links with more helpful information on cold hardy crops and how to insure success with insight on some planting techniques.

collards-hardy

Covering Plants for Late Frost

If you do plant your crops too early or there is a very late frost, it doesn’t mean you have signed their death wish already. There are definitely things you can do to help protect your crops from frost and help ensure a successful future.  Whether it be bringing container plants indoors for a night’s stay inside, saturating the soil thoroughly to help maintain the warmth, or covering your beds with a bedsheet overnight to insulate them, there are methods by which you can potentially evade the worst.

So in short, you don’t have to leave your garden barren during these cooler months. Not only are there cold hardy plants that flower but cold hardy crops that do just fine in these cooler temperatures. There are steps you can take to not only protect your plants – but in general plants are resistant and resilient. They will probably come back as long as the frost and cold doesn’t last for long periods of time. Remember you won’t know how successful you will be until you try! So get out there and get started!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Feed Me Seeds| Recipes and Benefits of Eating Seeds

Seeds are incredibly healthy and recently their discussion has become the  forefront on many nutritional discussions. While consuming seeds isn’t new, the change in direction of diets – i.e. high fiber, low carb, gluten free, plant based, high protein, etc. – has caused them to become a new focus for many people. Seeds not only carry many vitamins and minerals but also contain fiber and protein as well. Listed below are some health benefits of eating seeds and some recipes to give you some ideas on how to enjoy these seeds in your daily life.

Chia: Chia seeds seem to be a recent diet fad that everyone seems to be enjoying. These seeds are high in protein, fiber, iron, and Omega-3s, and calcium. Some claim that it helps promote weight loss because the fiber causes the stomach to feel full – however the results of medical studies do vary on this concept. However, the medical world seems to agree that Chia seeds are healthy and a good alternative to unhealthy grains and improve your overall nutrition. Here are some great recipes for you to implement Chia seeds into your life.

Who says eating healthy doesn’t include desserts?

Blueberry Chia Seed Cashew Cake Recipe. A beautiful and delicious treat for any occasion.

I love this healthy jam!

Easy Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a healthy granola bar for a quick on the go snack!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Chia Seed Granola Bars - No baking and just a handful of simple ingredients needed!

Here is a great way to make your pancakes more nutritious:

Blueberry Chia Seed Pancakes | A simple pancake recipe filled with chia seeds for added fiber!

I love overnight oats – so easy, delicious, and nutritious!

Make ahead, ready when you are. Overnight Turmeric Chia Oats | Plant Based, Dairy Free, GF Breakfast Recipe, #ad

Here is a great list of awesome pudding recipes:

This delicious chia pudding recipe will make you seriously rethink reaching for that pint of ice cream #healthy #chiaseed #recipes http://greatist.com/eat/chia-seed-pudding-recipes:

Flax: This seed is also not “new” but has actually been around for thousands of years. This seed is high in Omega-3s, Lignans, and fiber. This little seed is also high in other vitamins and minerals. It has cited for  helping cardiovascular health, diabetes, and cancer. King Charlemagne even decreed that his people must consume the seed because he believed in their health benefits. I often used flax seed to give an extra crunch in my breading for fried foods. Here are some other great recipes for you to add to your list.

A great cracker to go with any cheese:

flax seed crackers recipe angle

Here is a great smoothie to add to your list

Tropical Pineapple Smoothie With Flax Seeds

Here is a great granola bar alternative:

No-Bake Peanut Buttery Flax Bars

Here is a great gluten-free waffle recipe!

Finally! A Low Carb Gluten Free Flax Seed Waffles recipe! These turned out moist with crispy edges and remind me of whole grain waffles but without the carbs and gluten! Delicious with butter and/or syrup (sugar free if needed)! | www.OurLittleEverything.com

Here is a great gluten-free low carb bread substitute:

Low carb flax bread

Hemp: Even though this seed comes from a plant that carries a controversial reputation for its recreational use, it will not carry any hallucinogenic effect. In fact this seed is high in protein, potassium, and fatty acids in addition to other vitamins and minerals. It is even often used as a vegan protein powder. I oftentimes eat hemp seeds in smoothies and cooked with my quinoa.

Do you like Nutella? You will love this seedy substitute.

Here is a great way to update your hummus:

Hemp Seed Hummus - diettaste.com

Here is a great cookie with some healthy notes as well:

Get these healthy no-bake cookies in your belly immediately. Made with hemp seeds, oatmeal, cacao powder, and more delicious and nutritious goodness. Hemp Seed Oatmeal No-Bake Cookie Recipe

I love this recipe!!

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders -- this easy and delicious recipe is packed with protein and is also naturally #glutenfree! | gimmesomeoven.com #gf #recipe

Paleo low carb bread sticks?? YES PLEASE!

Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks with Garlic Butter & Hemp Seeds (Paleo, Gluten-free) - These crispy, low carb cauliflower breadsticks are low carb and paleo. Garlic butter and hemp seeds provide plenty of flavor. Gluten-free, healthy & easy!

Here is another great overnight oatmeal recipe:

This healthy Chocolate Hemp Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie tastes just like melted chocolate ice cream and packs an impressive 15 g of plant-based protein while meeting the minimum RDA for omega-3s! | runningwithspoons.com #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Another quick and healthy breakfast recipe:

20120212-185021.jpg

Vegan Parm yummy!

Make your own vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds. It’s the perfect cheesy topping for pizza, pasta, veggies, salads, popcorn and more.

A healthy ranch dressing… oh yes!

Love Ranch Dressing, but you've got food allergies? This Homemade Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe is not only dairy free, but it's also egg free and nut free too. Great as a dip, dressing, or spread for sandwiches and wraps. #paleo #vegan #dairyfree

Here is a guilt-free dessert option:

Poppy: I love these seeds and have been eating them since I was a child. These seeds are more common and less of a new fad but are no less important that the ones previously listed. These seeds are high in amino acids, manganese, and calcium. Although poppy seeds have nutritional value they can also be unhealthy in large doses – so please enjoy them in moderation. Here are some great recipes to meet your poppy seed needs!

Lemon and poppy seed is one of my Mom’s favorite breakfast foods… I can only imagine how much she would love these!

lwmon poppy seed pancakes

Here is a great dressing recipe:

Turmeric Orange Poppy Seed Dressing is tangy, slightly sweet and crunchy. You will feel an explosion of flavors in your mouth when you taste it. Perfect for fall salads! Plus, you can use the leftovers for smoothies.

Purim is such a fun Jewish holiday – why not enjoy it with this traditional Jewish dessert:

This Purim, make these no-fail hamantaschen cookies. Fill with nutella, poppy seed filling or your favorite jam!:

These sandwiches are great and perfect party food!

Make these quick and easy ham and Swiss sliders pop by adding some poppy seeds on top!:

This looks fantastic!

Finding Feasts - Polish Poppy Seed Cake_Makowiec

Pumpkin: I love pumpkin seeds and really enjoyed roasting them as a child. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, iron, and protein. Pumpkin seeds are great for so many things including its great source of magnesium, but it also helps with bone health, diabetes,  heart, liver, insomnia, and pregnancy as well. Here are some great ways to include this super seed into your diet.

Roasting the perfect pumpkin seeds:

After you've carved your jack-o-lantern for Halloween, it's time to roast perfect pumpkin seeds! Here's how you can make this salty and crunchy snack, that's healthy too!

This bark is so tasty:

Cranberry pumpkin seed dark chocolate bark tastes just like fall and is super simple to whip up with only 4 ingredients! (gluten free, grain free, paleo, and vegan)

Dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan pesto!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Who doesn’t love a crunchy tasty snack? Check this one out!

A simple recipe for Coconut Pumpkin Seed Snacks infused with lime and honey. Easy, delicious! Vegan and gluten free! | www.feastingathome.com

Here is another great paleo/vegan snack:

Apricot Cashew and Pumpkin Seed Bliss Balls by Nourish Everyday | Tasty, chewy and nutritious bliss balls made with natural dried apricots, cashews and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar!

Sacha Inchi: This is a seed you may not have heard of before but it is extremely healthy. It is also commonly known as the Inca nut and comes from Peru. These taste similar to pumpkin seeds and can add a great crunch to any recipe. These seeds are high in fiber and protein as well. It has also been known to help the brain, bones, and protect against cancer. Why not give this great seed a try?

Here is a great healthy cake:

Here is a great alternative to chocolate peanut butter cookies:

Chocolate Chunk "Peanut Butter" Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Legume Free)

This is a great tofu recipe:

Here is a great soup for you to try:

vegan acorn squash bisque with sacha inchi seeds

Here is a great vegan brownie recipe:

Vegan Maple Caramel Crunch Brownies and Imlak’esh Organics Sacha Inchi Giveaway

Sesame: These seeds also aren’t new and most people have probably consumed them or seen them at some point. They are extremely high in many minerals, vitamins, and Omega 6 fatty acids as well. In fact they are often referred to as the “Queen of Seeds”.  These seeds have been known to help with cholesterol, blood pressure, stress, diabetes, and several other health issues. Here are just of a few of the great recipes that I found on this seed.

I love this sweet treat!

Pasteli {Greek Sesame, Nuts & Honey Bars}

Here is another great snack:

Here is a great Carolina staple and dessert:

Benne Wafers

I love Tahini and here is a great recipe to make your own:

Homemade Tahini - this homemade tahini is only 2 ingredients and only takes about 8 minutes to make and its perfect for use in any recipes, especially homemade hummus!

This is one of my husband’s favorites:

This is a great flatbread recipe:

With a lovely buttery and toasted sesame seed flavor.:

This is a great chutney and/or side dish:

Nuvvula Pachadi Recipe (Sesame Seeds Chutney)

Sunflower: I not only love the flower but also love the seeds! In fact I eat them often on a road trip to occupy the time. The seeds are high in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and copper. The seeds have been known to help cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health, prevent cancer, thyroid function, and diabetes. Here are some fantastic ways to implement sunflowers into your diet.

This is a fantastic peanut butter substitute recipe:

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter | DoYouEvenPaleo.net

Here is another great pesto recipe:

Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas

This is a great dip to go with so many different dishes:

Vegan Cilantro Lemon Sunflower Seed Dip | ElephantasticVegan.com

Here is another great brittle:

This is an easy method that doesn't require a candy thermometer. The result is a delicious, toasted, nutty brittle. A great Fall party or shower favor, school or office treat. From The Yummy Life.

This is a great way to spruce up your oatmeal recipe:

Sunflower Seed Cookies by @Jill | Dulce Dough:

Not only is this delicious but it has a fantastic name!

Sunbutter

Cheese alternative say what??!

Sunflower Cheddar

Multi-Seed Recipes: There is no reason to solely eat one of those seeds alone. In fact, like with most things, you are best eating these seeds in conjunction with other healthy items. So why not eat these seeds together? Here are some great ways to include multiple seeds into your diet.

Here is a great gluten free and vegan bread substitute:

Pumpernickle Nut and Seed Bread 3

Here is a great gluten free seedy cracker substitute:

Zucchini Crackers

I love bread and this one looks like pure magic!

Sourdough Pain de Campagne with Toasted Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Flax Seeds

Love this crisp bread:

Scandinavian crispbreads made with minimal flour, some salt, oil, water and sesame, flax, poppy and sunflower seeds (and a few aromatic ones too) are a crunchy, delicate platform for butter, cheese, pickled herring and anything at all savoury. They are superb crunchy accompaniment to soup, too. Versions of knækbrød are eaten all over Denmark, Sweden and Norway and considered essential foods. High in protein, healthy fats and fiber, these are a near-perfect snack.

Seeds are essential to our whole ecosystem. They are the beginning of life and improve our own lives as well. Implementing vitamins and minerals into your diet naturally is the best way for your body to digest these items as well. I wasn’t really into these “nuts and berries” types of diets – but implementing some seeds into basic foods is easy and has improved my diet as well. So go ahead buy that big bag of seeds at the store and give these recipes a try. I am sure your taste buds will thank you!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Hosting a Garden Party and Plant Exchange

As evidence by my other posts I have a serious passion for plants and gardening. I have heard of people going to and hosting plants and/or seed exchanges and I always wanted to be a part of one! It seemed like such a great way to add variety to the garden while also making it a social event. This year I finally got the courage to host one. I wanted it to be fun, elegant, and successful. Luckily here in Florida people are as into gardening as I am – so it wasn’t too difficult to find people who were interested in attending. Then the real panning commenced… I took to Pinterest, talked to others who had been to a plant exchange, and got to work. I was pleasantly surprised at how successful it was and I hope to improve upon my endeavors in the future.

Invitation – I personally really like old school invitations to parties. I find that it is more personal and really sets the tone for any event. Luckily I have the most talented sister-in-law, Lauren James,  to help me with any graphic/invitation needs. I mentioned to her that I was hosting this party and asked her if she had something that would fit or if we should just create a new invitation. Luckily she had something that was really perfect already!! We changed up the wording to meet my needs and viola we had the perfect invitation. (Side note – feel free to contact Lauren with any of your invitation/stationary needs!)

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Décor – I love party decorations! It is a kind of way to transport your guests to a fun new location. For the garden party I am lucky enough to live in a home with fantastic landscapes and greenery. Therefore actual décor was luckily minimal and many of them I was able to gather from my own garden. I knew I wanted a wide variety of flowers to be placed on tables and create a centerpiece as well. Overall I think the effect was perfect for the event.

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{Pictures taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Food – As far as the food is concerned I wanted light refreshments that echoed the theme of the party – gardening and elegance. The menu was charcuterie, crudité, smörgåstårta (Swedish tea cake), Pistachio Bundt cake, and lemon lavender cookies. I was pleasantly surprised with how well all of the food came out remarkably well and really fit the theme I think. Listed below are the pictures of the food I created and the links I used for inspiration. I have also included any of the improvements that I made as well.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Charcuterie – I read several articles about how the create the best spread. I also love to eat this kind of food on a regular basis – which makes it very easy for me to create different tastes with the food provided. I will also say that I loved near a Trader Joe’s which also makes it easy to pick out good cheeses for a reasonable price.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Crudité – This is also another food that I eat constantly. This also screams garden to me – for there is nothing better than eating produce straight from the garden. I found an example of this kind on pinterest and it just looked so lovely that I decided to create one as well. It was surprisingly easy to make the cabbage into a bowl which was nice.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Smörgåstårta (Swedish Tea Cake) – Tea sandwiches are such a classic taste and so easy to make. However I wanted to put a little twist on mine and found the idea to make the tea sandwich into a cake! It was surprisingly easy and tasted delicious! However I will mention my faux pas – I did not cut off the bottom crust which made the cake difficult to cut thru – but outside of that the flavor and look was fantastic!

Pistachio Bundt Cake– One of my favorite flavors is Pistachio – especially in desserts. My garden party was also near St. Patrick’s day so I thought it would be best to create something green as well. This recipe was really easy! Instead of using white icing like the recipe calls for – I made a lemon icing instead from the recipe below.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Lemon Lavender Cookies – This recipe was also incredibly easy and so delicious. I really wanted to do something with lavender because I think it add such a fun element to anything with lemon. Instead of cooking the lavender in the cookies I decided to just add some to the icing of some of the cookies (in case some people didn’t want the lavender).

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Plant Exchange – So even though I read a bunch of articles and talked to several people about the exchange part I really didn’t know how this was going to all work out. Luckily the ladies there brought a wide variety of plants and were so cordial in the exchange – that it really made my job easy. If I am truthful I probably wasn’t the best host during this part since I didn’t really have a game plan with the exchange and kind of just let the others take over. Next year I think I will have some kind of orderliness to the exchange so that way everyone isn’t standing around and staring. So to be continued because I would love to do this again in the future with even more success!

Pins of Inspiration – Here is a list of some other examples that I found so inspiring and I hope to use possibly in future event or garden parties! I hope that you too can find some fun inspiration in these pins.

Plant Exchange Explanation

I found this article extremely helpful and plan on implanting more of these ideas on my next go round

How to Throw a Garden and Seed Exchange Party - girl. Inspired.:

I really wanted to do this but ran out of time – but it did inspire some of my decorative pieces

This article inspired me for a lot of the food I did

WEEKEND AT HOME / 27 | D E S I G N L O V E F E S T | Bloglovin’:

This article really inspired me for centerpieces for the party as well

Outdoor floating candles and flowers:

Despite some hick ups the party was an enormous success and I think everyone was able to leave with a plant that they will come to enjoy. I hope that I will be able to make this an annual event so that everyone can enjoy some new plants and some great fellowship. Honestly the day was perfect and I don’t think I could have asked for better weather or company. I am so thankful for these new friendships and the fellowship that we share. I hope that this post will inspire others to also get involved in gardening.

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

The Creative Home | A Breath of Fresh Air | The DeBrews

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It’s the end of March y’all! How’d that happen? I will say, I am loving the GREEN everywhere, leaves are bright, flowers are blooming. Spring is here!!! Speaking of spring, this home is a breath of fresh air. Light and airy with pops of color and unexpected but perfectly placed pieces – you will enjoy every inch of this home.

There were two houses that gave me the idea for this little monthly virtual tour. I thought, there is just too much creative goodness going on in little ol’ Anderson that needs to be celebrated. This home is one of them. Morgan, the hostess of the house, our good friend Emily, and I were throwing a little sprinkle for a dear friend having a baby girl, and the shindig was at Morgan’s. I had to put blinders on when we were party prepping because it was the first time I had been to her house and I just wanted to drink it in. A self-proclaimed design-on-a-dimer, Morgan has an impeccable eye for detail, color and texture combinations and her home reflects just that….

HOWEVER, I did not realize until I did the little interview that goes along with me poking around their house snapping photos…that Chris, the host of the home, is also a pretty dang talented handyman.

Y’all, this fabulous couple – kind as can be and would give you the shirts of their backs – are Anderson’s own little Chip and Jo. There is major heart and hard work put into this home by both of them, so keep that in mind as you take a looksy at these photos….and P.S. their two adorable kiddos live here too!

You’ll be getting a two-fer in April – both the Before’s from the Tally Carlisles’ new abode and another fun creative home. But FIRST, let me introduce you to the DeBrews.

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Me: When was the house built?

Chris: 2015, we started building in January and moved in in August. This is our fourth house.

Me: What is your favorite room?

Morgan: Probably the kitchen or the kitchen and living combination – I love that it’s multifunctional for us.

Chris: Hands down my shop. I inherited my Dad’s tools, so they are sentimental.

Me: This is your fourth house? Let’s go back to that. Have you flipped houses?

Chris: We didn’t originally plan to, but we kind of have.

Morgan: It just sort of happened. We both like to work together on them. Chris did a lot of the work here.

Me: Oh really?

Chris: Her Dad and I did it together. I spent pretty much every weekend over here from start to finish…we grated the lot, cut the trees, installed the irrigation and landscaping…

Me: Wow! Y’all are like Chip and Jo! (They both laugh, humbly…) Seriously guys – I had no idea. Morgan, you are crazy talented at decorating – I mean just the light fixtures in this house…

Morgan: I like to design on a dime. I got most of the light fixtures at market. I like being able to take items I have inherited and use them, the ones that are timeless. And I love a can of spray paint.

I laugh…but agree wholeheartedly.

Chris: She means she likes for me to spray paint things. I’m Mo’s minion.

I laugh again.

Me: Do you have any favorite items?

Morgan: The “Be My Guest” sign…my grandmother originally embroidered one similar and I had a graphic designer come up with a similar design that I had printed.

Morgan: I like to move things around a lot.

Chris: Let me define “a lot” – over Christmas, we rearranged the upstairs 4 times.

Morgan: I love symmetry and assymetry – as long as it balances.

Me: Do you have any favorite pieces of furniture?

Morgan: (thinks) Probably my grandmother’s piece in the entryway. (see photo below)

Chris: (also thinks) My grandmother’s bar.

Me: Last question, how would you describe your style?

Morgan: I think rustic glam… clean lines…I like accessories…BUT I like for them to have a place. Clean, but liveable and comfortable.

The entry opens up to their living room, backed by a fabulous porch that overlooks the back yard – more pictures of it later…

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{I spy a piece of art by yours truly!}

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{Love those ikat pillows}

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I love Morgan’s use of mixed metals accents. And how beautiful is the light coming in this room in late afternoon?

To the left of the living room is the dining room, on the front of the house.

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How amazing is that light fixture??

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The living room and kitchen are one great room, with a breakfast nook off to the right overlooking the back yard and a hallway to the garage and bedrooms off to the left. I absolutely love their kitchen as well as another amazing light fixture over the breakfast nook table.

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Yes, kiddos really live here – and they are allowed to play!

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Back to the left on the way to the garage, is this great little cubby nook, perfect for bookbags and rain boots, plus a perfect little powder room.

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The master bedroom is bright yet calming, and the en suite master bath perfectly coordinates with Morgan’s contemporary eclectic taste.

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Possibly my favorite spot in the house is this nook between the kiddos rooms – a lime green dresser sits in front of a chalkboard wall perfect for notes from Mom or Dad, a couple of Lily and Hines’ art projects are on display (how awesome is the giant clay lollipop?) and a big, bright floral painting.

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Lily’s room is white, gray and khaki with big florals and stripes of deep pink and reds. Such a happy space for a little girl!

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Her bathroom boasts flamingos happily dancing on the shower curtain.

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Hines’ room is all boy, complete with a deer keeping watch over his bed while he’s at school.

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His bathroom is equally as well coordinated to his own little space with a few duck hunting details.

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Back out into the living space, I had previously mentioned that their living room opens up to their back porch. How wonderful is this space?

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And one last spot I have to share, Chris’s aforementioned favorite room, his workshop:

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Extra special thank you to the DeBrews for opening up their home to The Olive Shoe!

Previous Creative Home Tours:

If you have or know of a creative space with interesting color, textures, and style that you’d like to see featured, I’d love to come take a look and even snap a few photos – please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com and let’s have a chat!

In an ode to one of my previously mentioned old favorites…There’s no place like home!

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

Rejoice! Easter Has Arrived |Spring Has Sprung

YES!!! FINALLY!!! It’s time to put up the movies, indoor activities, and winter clothing. Ok, maybe not quite yet – but it is almost time! I LOVE warm days and the promise of Easter. Easter itself holds a lot of nostalgia for me. Growing up in Pennsylvania, you never knew what the weather would hold – but I do remember most Easters being sunny and sometimes warm. We would all get fancy new clothes, dress whites, and begin planning for our spring and summer activities. As I have gotten older and moved away from the church (a long tumultuous story that I may share on another date), Easter has not lost its luster. It is a wonderful celebration of life, forgiveness, and rejuvenation. I hope that I will be able to continue to instill the importance of Easter upon our children as they grow older. Here are some great ways to keep some fun in your Easter celebrations this season.

Decorations – These objects really set the mood and can bring all of the whimsical elements to celebrating Easter. Here were some of my favorites – many of which remind me of some of my family’s favorite Easter decorations. I hope they inspire you to have some fun elements this holiday.

Here is a fantastic list of DIY decorations:


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Easter DIY Spring Home Decor – The 36th AVENUE

Easter DIY Spring Home Decor

 

I am in LOVE with this Easter mantle:

This is another great table set up that is much more simple and just as stunning:

 

This is another great table set up that is much more simple and just as stunning:

Here is a super sweet decoration that is easy to create:

 

I love this take on a terrarium for Easter:

Clothing – Easter attire bring me great joy. It’s always so bright and cheery – a seriously fantastic welcome back from the dredges of winter. Although I do not necessarily love outfits to match too much, I do really enjoy when outfits coordinate colors! Easter is also a great time to take some family pictures. Here are some of my favorite springtime outfits for Easter and pictures.

This option is classic and perfect for an active family:

Bright colors are always a fun choice for spring:

These outfit are so fun and whimsical – they capture the essence of the season:

You can never go wrong with a classic Americana look either!

I also love this more classic Easter look as well:

Food – Ah yes the food! Everyone has their traditional dishes for the holidays. My family always had ham, sweet potatoes, ambrosia, and deviled eggs. Some friends of mine always have BBQ while others fry a turkey! Whatever you do decide – make sure it tastes good! Here are some fun treats to add to your tradition that add a decorative punch!

I love how beautiful this food looks:

This is adorably perfect party food:

These chicks are the perfect app for adults and children alike:

Unfortunately Easter isn’t warm for everyone – this is the perfect solution for a chilly Easter:

Here is a gorgeous take on a classic:

Here is the mother-load of suggestions for desserts if you need more inspiration:

Drinks – It’s not a real party without some fun drinks for everyone to partake.  Here are some fantastic options for both adults and children alike. I love how these drinks are so festive!

These drinks are so adorable!

Who doesn’t love a good milkshake!

How about an adult Cadbury Crème cocktail?

For those with a sweet tooth!

Here is a nicely comprised list of some more fun cocktails for your Easter celebration:

Activities – Easter activities often include Easter egg dying (ADD LINK) and an Easter egg hunt. Here are some other fun ideas you could add to your Easter traditions while also keeping the children entertained!

Here is a great list of Easter games!

Here are some awesome science projects to complete:

Here is a great STEM project that even adults will love!

Here some great crafts that even allow the toddlers to get involved:

Baskets – Easter baskets were always the best! The Easter bunny always hid our baskets and filled the plastic eggs – which my parents would then hide after Church. I always thought it was such a fun tradition. Here are some great Easter basket ideas that could even double as party favors!

These are too cute for Easter:

Perfect for the “nerds” in your home:

These are beautiful and great for years to come:

Perfect for those getting ready for hot weather or a vacation:

Who doesn’t need another mason jar?

Life, forgiveness, and rejuvenation – what a great time of year!! Easter is such a wonderful time not only for religious reasons, but also because of longer sunnier days, bright colors, and promise of life. For me, it’s a time to enjoy new fashion, get crafty, and down-right dirty in the garden (stay tuned for more on this topic later!)  In fact, I am currently writing this outside in the attempts to enjoy this warm weather before ‘Ole Man Winter’ decides he isn’t finished with us just yet! So what will you do this Easter… crafts, egg dying, garden walks? Whatever you choose, make sure it brings you joy and reinvigorates a sense of new life within you – after all, that is what the spring and Easter are all about!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop: